August 2014 Guest Editor Gerald Seymour on The Day of the Jackal...
I have big respect for Frederick Forsyth. There have been very few lurches in direction for thriller writers in the last half century. Ian Fleming changed direction with the Bond books, but Freddie set the tone with ‘Day of the Jackal’ and he has had a wheelbarrow load of imitators but no equals. The style demands detail and authenticity but is never mechanical: it is one of those stories that keeps new readers, and the old ones who dip back in every few years to repeat the pleasures, up half the night. A real page turner.
I read the book when I was a teenager and was captivated by the notion that a single man could be employed to kill a president and thereby allow for a regime change in France. Seen largely from the perspective of the assassin The Jackal, the book follows his meticulous preparations, while being pursued by French agencies, leading to the moment he has Charles de Gaulle in the crosshairs of his custom made sniper rifle. We know he won’t kill him (de Gaulle died of natural causes in old age) but that doesn’t matter because the book isn’t about whether the assassination will succeed, but rather how could it happen. A thriller masterpiece.
One of the most celebrated thrillers ever written, The Day of the Jackal is the electrifying story of the struggle to catch a killer before it's too late. It is 1963 and an anonymous Englishman has been hired by the Operations Chief of the O.A.S. to murder General de Galle. A failed attempt in the previous year means the target will be nearly impossible to get to. But this latest plot involves a lethal weapon: an assassin of legendary talent. Known only as The Jackal this remorseless and deadly killer must be stopped, but how do you track a man who exists in name alone?
|Publication date:||7th April 2011|
|Publisher:||Arrow Books Ltd an imprint of Cornerstone|
|Primary Genre||Thriller and Suspense|
Frederick Forsyth is the author of ten bestselling novels: The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File, The Dogs of War, The Devil's Alternative, The Fourth Protocol, The Negotiator, The Deceiver, The Fist of God, Icon and Avenger. His other works include The Biafra Story, The Shepherd, two short story collection, No Comebacks and The Veteran, and a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, The Phantom of Manhattan. He has also collected together an anthology of flying tales, Great Flying Stories, which includes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Roald Dahl, Len Deighton and H.G. Wells. He lives ...More About Frederick Forsyth